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Miami Beach seafood spot impresses on all fronts

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster is a restaurant we’ve been eagerly anticipating for a while now. Chef Julian Garriga and his crew had been teasing the restaurant’s food at its sister bar Minnow up until its opening – and now it’s here. The verdict? Well worth the wait.

Here are five reasons you need to check out Seawell Fish N’ Oyster ASAP:

Incredible Value

Monkey Bread - Seawell Fish n' Oyster
Monkey Bread

The majority of starters and entrees won’t break the bank; prices typically fall into the ‘teens and twenties’ price range. And they’re big portions: Items like the smoked fish dip come with tons of saltines, the crabby patty aka crab cake is sizable, and the everything monkey bread can feed an entire table (and it’s just $7). Finding something this good and reasonably priced is rare on the beach. 

Quality Seafood 

 Peel n' Eat Shrimp - Seawell Fish n' Oyster
Peel n’ Eat Shrimp

As you’d expect from the name, Seawell Fish N’ Oyster focuses on … well, fish and oysters. A daily menu highlights the restaurant’s fresh catches like black grouper, branzino, and Caribbean snapper – to name a few. This ever-changing menu ensures that diners always have something new to look forward to during every visit.

Lobster Roll from Seawell
Lobster Roll

On the permanent menu, guests can enjoy highlights like peel n’ eat shrimp with clarified butter and Old Bay as well as a hearty lobster roll with kewpie mayo. The former, in particular, was one of our favorite dishes of the night. On its own with just Old Bay seasoning, the shrimp was spectacular. But dipping it in the warm butter took the dish to the next level – and had us raving about it for hours. On that note …

Fun Sauces 

In our opinion, sauces don’t get enough credit. They can elevate a ho-hum dish or take an already spectacular item even further. At Seawell, the latter is the case. Chef Garriga and his team pair their food with sauces that will make your taste buds dance.

That everything monkey bread we mentioned earlier? It’s made even better with the addition of whipped dill butter. Our already amazing black grouper? Paired with a citrus tarragon butter, it blew our minds. And the Serrano Leche de Tigre that came with our yellowtail snapper Crudo didn’t disappoint either. 

Varied Options

You don’t have to be a seafood fan to enjoy Seawell. Yes, the menu is predominantly seafood, but the non-fish options are just as tasty. A hefty poutine with ‘nduja gravy, fried chicken with tabasco honey, and a 16-ounce ribeye showcase the kitchen’s versatility and talent.

You can tell the staff put their heart into everything, from the starters and entrees all the way to the side dishes; veggies like charred broccoli, roasted butternut squash mushrooms shine with elements like Calabrian chili pesto, cacio e pepe butter and caper raisin vinaigrette (again with the sauces). 

Crafty Cocktails

Crazy Cocktails of Seawell
Cocktails from Seawell Fish N’ Oyster

No meal is complete without something to drink, and the restaurant has put together a short-yet-impressive libation list. Guests seeking something sweet can refresh themselves with the Angel of the Morning (vodka, St. Germain, strawberry, lemon) or Tavern Spritz (lillet blanc, white port, aperol, bubbles), while the whiskey-based Sea Wolf and Billy Budd take care of the other end of the flavor spectrum.

Open for breakfast, dinner, and brunch, there’s never a bad time to visit Seawell. What are you waiting for? Go make a reservation.

Seawell Fish N’ Oyster on South Beach is putting innovative twists on classic seafood dishes. Chef Julian Garriga and his team have developed a playful yet familiar menu full of favorites at this Kimpton Angler’s Hotel eatery. Begin your experience with everything monkey bread and a rotating selection of oysters before diving into daily catches, fish, and chips, peel n’ eat shrimp and other delightful selections.

Crabby Patty from Seawell
Crabby Patty

Non-fish options like the Seawell Burger – a cheddar, caramelized onions, and Marie Rose sauce creation – and fried chicken with tabasco honey ensure all palates feel welcome; you don’t need to be a seafood fan to leave impressed. Decadent desserts, including whoopie pie Alaska and croissant bread pudding, provide a satisfying finish to any meal.

Rounding out the offerings is an equally impressive list of libations that runs the gamut from light and refreshing to stiff and spirit-forward. Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch, there’s never a bad time to visit Seawell.

660 Washington Avenue,
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 594-5820

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr., a contributing writer

Casual Dining With a Coastal Twist

When you think of water park food, what usually comes to mind? We think of hot dogs, burgers and other casual bites—nothing out of this world. At places like amusement parks where thrill and entertainment is the focus, food is typically an afterthought.

At Surf House Bar & Grill inside Tidal Cove Waterpark, however, the kitchen is elevating park fare into something that’s more than just passable. You can tell a lot of thought went into the menu at this Coastal American locale on the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa property. It reads impressively with a wide range of fresh seafood options for all palates and ages. Key Lime Biscuits with honey butter, Tempura Oysters, Shrimp Cocktail, and Charred Octopus are just a few of the many appetizer selections that let you know Surf House means business.

That said, don’t skip over less exciting items like the salads—you’ll miss out. The Seafood Louie in particular is a star: Tasty lobster, lump crab, and shrimp make for a stellar meal you’ll remember well after it’s over. Handheld selections are plentiful and substantial, but you won’t feel too weighed down to continue exploring Tidal Cove. Standouts in this section include the Blackened Mahi-Mahi Sandwich and Fish Tacos, both of which can be easily shared between two people.

Although the menu is predominantly seafood, there are still ample choices for those who prefer meat or vegetables. Non-seafood items like Buffalo Chicken Wings, Nashville Hot Chicken or the Vegan Burger help ensure that everyone in your party has something to savor. That’s what we love the most about Surf House: its versatility.

Case in point: Whether you’re looking for a quick bite for lunch or if you prefer a more leisurely experience, Surf House delivers. Entrées like Steamed Mussels and Swordfish Churrasco are things we’d expect to find at Turnberry’s other upscale restaurants—not in the middle of a water park. But having these more refined selections available is a welcome treat; especially when all you want to do after a long day of fun in the sun is relax and indulge.

Speaking of fun, the cocktails at Surf House are also not to be missed. Curated by Miami’s own Cocktail Cartel, the libations list is home to familiar frozen drinks like Strawberry Daiquiris and Piña Coladas, as well as more creative concoctions like a Strawberry Stormy (strawberry-infused rum, nutmeg, ginger) or a Smokey Tommy (mezcal, lime and agave with a savory salt rim). In a large group? Get your preferred cocktail in a pitcher.

The next time you find yourself at Tidal Cove and need to fuel up for all the slides and pools, pay a visit to Surf House. Its approachable yet elevated seafood offerings and refreshing cocktails are rare in a world of water park food that’s phoned in. Other parks need to take note.

By Geoffrey Anderson Jr. | Contributing Writer

Visit these posh Miami restaurants if you regularly crave exquisite Italian food and jaw-dropping elegance

Authentic Italian at Cibo Wine Bar

Cibo Wine Bar in Coral Gables has no problem consistently pleasing the crowds. Be it the rustic exposed brick ambience, the large wine menu boasting both Italian regions and global varieties, lobster specials on Tuesdays, or brunches full of Italian bubbles on Sunday, Cibo has something for everyone, and it’s always authentically Italian. Take their Neapolitan-style pizzas: cooked to perfection in a wood-burning oven and complete with over a dozen varieties, including a whole wheat dough option. We like to order the simple but always perfect Mozzarella di Bufala, with buffalo cheese, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. Another great is the Funghi, with wild mushrooms, fontini cream, and white truffle oil, because…well, truffle. Or you can kick things up with toppings like prosciutto, spicy soppressatta, Italian sausage, or even a variety of seafood in the Frutte di Mare. Now that’s authentic.

A Tasty Slice of Italy at Amare Ristorante

If you’re craving a trip to the iconic Italian coast, Amare Ristorante has you covered. Located in the South of Fifth neighborhood, Amare is ready to transport you to the beautiful Amalfi Coast by way of elevated Italian cuisine and equally romantic furnishings. A concept by Gino Iovino in collaboration with Michelin-starred Chef Cosimo Cassano, the expert team here prepares classic dishes made in-house with seasonal ingredients flown directly from Italy. Indulge in award-winning favorites such as the Risotto Tartufato, Costata Di Manzo, Tartare Tasting Trio, or the Spaghetti Vesuvio (Spaghetti al Nero di Sepia). Whether sitting indoors or on the outdoor terrace, the combination of the classic Italian cuisine along with the imported décor that includes hand-painted ceramic tiles, pottery, and sculptures, you’ll feel as though you’re on a luxurious Italian vacation. Benvenuto!

Dreamy Cocktail Infusions at Scarpetta

Sure, house-infused spirits, bespoke cold-brew cocktails, and tantalizing Italian dishes by none other than celebrity chef Scott Conant are reasons aplenty to stop in for a meal at Scarpetta (or at its cocktail lab and infusion bar, Sorso). But this summer, there’s one item on the menu we can’t stop thinking about. It’s called the True Bleau, and it’s a heavenly blend of Barr Hill gin and grapefruit soda served with a pea flower-infused ice cube. True to its name, this jewel-toned indigo stunner is just as Instagrammable as it is utterly delicious.

By DiningOut Staff

You’ve got two more weeks to dine like royalty. Make it count.

Los Fuegos Kitchen Prep

The annual restaurant extravaganza known as Miami Spice is quickly coming a close, so we’ve gathered our top picks for the best Spice menus in town. From celebrity chefs to neighborhood spots, there’s plenty to keep even the most discerning foodie happy.

Los Fuegos {3201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 786.655.5600}

Lamb Ribs

Argentine super chef Francis Mallmann is the mastermind behind this gaucho-inspired restaurant at the posh Faena Miami Beach. As such, expect rustic Argentine and Patagonian specialities like Oxtail Croquettes or Octopus A La Plancha for appetizers. For mains, we loved the Lamb Ribs with peach chutney, while the Local Snapper comes with an intriguing grilled polenta and tomato mayonnaise. Dessert keeps things simple with a Mascarpone Cheesecake with red berry sorbet.

Octopus A La Plancha

Boulud Sud {255 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami; 305.421.8800}

Boulud Sud Dining Room

The plush downtown outpost of celeb chef Daniel Boulud’s homage to Mediterranean delights is a sophisticated spot to do a fancy Miami Spice lunch. The menu changes regularly, so there’s plenty of reason to keep coming back throughout the Spice promotion. We started with the Babaganoush appetizer and a “Horiatiki” Greek Salad, both of which were fresh and flavorful. For mains, we opted for the Branzino A La Plancha with freekah and apricot and the Lamb “Frita” with harissa aïoli, crispy potato, and onion compote. Desserts were showstoppers and included a Lavender-Peach Zalabia (a Tunisian donut filled with labneh mousse) and Chocolate Profitroles. And don’t forget to save room for those special warm madeleine cookies that are always served gratis!

Market at Edition {2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 786.257.4600}

Crispy Salmon Sushi

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Market at Edition’s global cafe/patisserie/salumeria is one of our favorite spots, simply because there’s so much tempting food on display—from the crisp pizzas to the insane charcuterie. For our Spice lunch, we started with the Crispy Salmon Sushi and Summer Squash and Arugula Salad—both refreshing and light starters. The Roasted Beef Tenderloin is a solid choice for an entrée, complimented by goldbar squash, Parmesan cheese and a buttery hot sauce, while the Mushroom and Farm Egg Pizza will please any carb lover. For dessert, choose between the Strawberry Sundae or the Passion Fruit Cheesecake (or splurge for a slice of the Carrot Cake—one of the best in town).

Scarpetta {4441 Collins Ave, Miami; 305.674.4660}


The Italian restaurant at the Fontainebleau is always a winner for Spice, if not solely for the fact that they consistently offer their legendary Spaghetti Pomodoro as a Spice entrée and it is consistently, delectably, life-changing. That said, we were a tad disappointed that their Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms was not offered on this year’s Spice menu, but we understand the need to innovate—in its place, we loved the Mediterranean Octopus with capers and olives. For mains, there’s the classic Spaghetti, a beautifully crisped-skin Branzino, the Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli, or Chicken Breast with Pancetta. Desserts selections of Coconut Tapioca and Chocolate Amedei Bar with hazelnut crunch were lovely.

Chocolate Amedei Bar with Hazelnut Crunch

Maska {3252 NE 1st Ave Suite 109, Miami; 786.971.9100}

Crab Tadka Dumplings

Chef Hemant Mathur, the first Indian Chef in the U.S. to receive a Michelin Star, has opened a high-end homage to Indian cooking in midtown.  The dining room is an opulent space with crystal chandeliers, plush blue chairs, an open kitchen and a lounge and wine cellar. Be prepared to eat modern Indian dishes with creative spins like the Maska Chicken, the restaurant’s version of a butter chicken, Khoya Mushroom (paneer stuffed portobello mushroom), Crab Tadka Dumplings, and a variety of Kulcha (stuffed bread). Maska’s Miami Spice offering includes a complimentary cocktail—the Aam-Chi Martini—a gin-based cocktail topped with mango lassi foam. Next door to Maska, Mathur has also opened Cho:Tu, which focuses on Indian street food with a more casual atmosphere.

Khoya Mushroom

By Sara Liss, Contributing Writer

Steak & Eggs at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

Steak & Eggs at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar

Here is all of the food news you can get excited about in Miami this week:

Last Week of Miami Spice!
You only have until the end of September to take advantage of Miami’s most raved-about foodie season, Miami Spice. From now through September 30, checkout your favorite restaurants—like StripSteak by Michael Mina, db Bistro Moderne, Tamarina and 200+ more—for lunch or dinner, and get three-course prix-fixe meals for $23 and $39, respectively. For a real treat, head to one of our favorites, GK Bistronomie {218 NW 25th Street, Wynwood; 786.477.5151} and find modern Peruvian plates, like lobster empanadas and crispy pork belly with sundried potato “stew,” on the Spice menu.

Barley an American Brasserie Opens Its Doors
A new restaurant, Barley an American Brasserie {8945 SW 72 Place, Miami; 786.623.6733}, the latest culinary venture by Chef Jorgie Ramos, opened its doors this week. Located in Downtown Dadeland, this haute gastropub will serve rustic Americana comfort food with Latin and Asian influences: from charred octopus with seaweed, miso aioli, and a farro salad, to braised beef tongue with yucca mofongo and sofrito salad, lamb neck filet doused in a horseradish tzatziki, and the Latin burger topped with chorizo cantimpalo, sweet plantains, manchego, and a chimichurri aioli. Go there for its daily mac ‘n’ cheese rotation and specialty craft beer, cocktail and boutique wine menu, and stay for the relaxed vibes and hearty, creative cuisine. 

National Pizza Month Starts Saturday, October 1st
This Saturday is the start of an entire month dedicated to pizza – and that’s something we believe everyone should celebrate. Don’t know where to go? Try Dolce Italian {1690 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.975.2550}, on Miami Beach. It has a Tartufata Pizza that puts a unique twist on the classic cheese variety with savory blanca cheese, speck, spicy salami and truffle. Another delicious option is La Moderna {1874 Bay Road, Miami Beach; 786.717.7274}, where you can enjoy their traditional, but unparalleled, Margherita Pizza in a casual-chic setting. 

Ocio Launches New Happy Hour
Miami’s favorite new escape, Ocio {3399 NW 72nd Avenue, Doral; 786.360.4468} is unveiling a happy hour at its secluded and chic retreat. Tucked away in Doral, this Italian-driven locale invites guests to come on Thursday and Friday nights, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and get a complimentary appetizer with the purchase of a glass of wine or beer. With your glass, delight in plates like fried mozzarella with homemade marinara sauce, Antipasto (salami, capicola, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers), or the Octopus Carpaccio, thinly-sliced octopus with capers and steeped in an aromatic lemon vinaigrette.

Sunday Brunch at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar
Between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sundays, there’s nowhere better to be than brunch at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar {2550 NW 2nd Avenue, Wynwood; 305.722.8959}. Order Latin-inspired dishes like the Wynwood Benedict with poached egg, crabmeat, chipotle hollandaise sauce and polenta, or the Tostada with a sunny side-up egg, tomato puree, black beans, cojita cheese and crema. You can never go wrong with the locale’s Steak & Eggs, a grilled skirt steak served with a fried egg and yucca frita, and whatever you do, pair it with a breakfast cocktail. Our personal favorites are the Prosecco cocktails—you get a nice glass of Prosecco flavored with your choice of Hibiscus, Palomimosa, Applish or Blue Pisco.

By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor

Head to the heart of the Magic City, to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room in the EDITION Miami Beach, and you’ll find one of the area’s most popular hotel bars of the same name. Paying homage to the art of mixology, Matador Bar {2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 786.257.4600} has become a staple for Miami’s finest. And with its craft cocktails, sleek black walnut-paneled walls, sexy vibes, and floor-to-ceiling windows with sparkling Atlantic Ocean views… it’s easy to see why.
Now on Thursday, September 22nd, patrons have another reason to stop by Matador Bar: the fourth installment of its monthly Bar Takeover series. From 9 p.m. to midnight, come and drink to your hearts content as the cocktail-savvy team from The NoMad Hotel, in NYC, brings their talents to Miami Beach. For one night only, James Beard Award-winning mixologist and NoMad Bar Director, Leo Robitschek, promises to give the Matador Bar a taste of the real Manhattan—perhaps both the city and the cocktail.
This Matador Bar Takeover will include $12 Nomad cocktails and live music. To find out more about it, visit the event’s Facebook page here.
See you there!
By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor

It’s the last weekend of Summer Olympics 2016, so if you haven’t gotten in the Rio spirit by now, it’s time to start. No matter who you’re cheering for, go for the gold with these Olympic-themed cocktails inspired by the Rio games. They’re sure to have you feeling like a champion in no time.
The Place: The Lounge at The Setai {2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.520.6000}
From Opening to Closing ceremonies, this lounge will transform into a mini “Copacabana Beach” where guests can watch the games on the big screen, sip on this Olympic-Rings cocktail, and cheer on their team in style.
The Drink: It’s a mix of vodka, lemon, lime, and champagne, served with Life Savers or gummy rings to make sure you get those five, Olympic-level rings.
“Banana Batida”
The Place: Mondrian South Beach {1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach; 305.514.1500}
It’s available at the outside bar, by the pool, during the hotel’s new 5-day happy hour. It runs Monday to Friday, from 4 – 7 p.m.
The Drink: Inspired by Brazil, the Banana Batida is a sweet and refreshing summer slushie made with coconut-infused Avua cachaça, bananas, pineapple, and condensed milk.
“Soul Cachaca”
The Place: American Social Brickell {690 SW 1st Court, Brickell; 305.223.7004}
The Drink: Launched solely for the Olympic games, Soul Cachaca is a two-week-long cocktail menu inspired by the Brazilian spirit. From August 5th to August 21st, fans can drink around the world  with five variations of the traditional Caipirinha cocktail, each representing a different country: the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, or Italy.
“Kiwi Caipirinha”
The Place: SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach {600 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; 305.673.5337}
The Drink: Cachaça is Brazil’s national spirit, and the base of this Rio-inspired drink. Here, it’s muddled with kiwi and lime and garnished with fresh kiwi slices.
By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor

Skinny Crush with Stoli Gluten Free

Las Olas is one of South Florida’s hottest dining destinations, and of its dazzling restaurants, Grille 401 {401 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale; 954.767.0222} is one gem not to be missed. Known as much for its upscale comfort food as it is for its trendy cocktails, there’s no better place to spend those hot South Florida summer nights. And now, this must-try spot is catering to cocktail-lovers everywhere by stocking its shelves with the recently-released Stoli Gluten Free Vodka. Want to try it at home for yourself? Try Grille 401’s newest addition to its Signature Cocktail Menu, Skinny Crush. And we know just how it’s made.

To make it at home, just mix 1.5 ounces of Stoli Gluten Free Vodka, 1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and 1 ounce grapefruit juice. Serve in a martini glass with a grapefruit twist. Enjoy!

Can’t make it to Grille 401? Find Stoli Gluten Free Vodka on the menu at some of our other favorite South Florida restaurants, including: ZestCoya, American Social Brickell, The SLS South Beach and The River Seafood Oyster Bar.


Cleo Colada from Cleo

In a shaker filled with ice, combine 1-1/2 ounces Ciroc coconut vodka, 1 ounce pineapple juice, 1/2 ounce lime juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup, and 1/4 ounce egg white. Shake vigorously and serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.

La Bicyclette from The Lido Grill at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

In a shaker filled with ice, combine 3 ounces rosé and 1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and shake. Pour into a wine glass filled with ice and top with Perrier sparkling water. Garnish with plenty of lemon wheels.

Raspberry Vintage Cocktail from Segafredo Espresso L’Originale

In a mixing glass, muddle 2 blackberries. Add 2 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur, 1 ounce lime juice, and 1 ounce raspberry purée, and stir. Strain into into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a lemon wedge.

pomegranate caipirinha

The bar team at db Bistro Moderne Miami {255 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown; 305.421.880} is embracing the cooler months by introducing five new seasonally inspired cocktails to the restaurant’s already-intriguing drinks menu. One of our favorites is the citrusy-sweet Pomegranate Caipirinha. Visit db Bistro and have the experts make it for you—during happy hour in the lounge (Monday-Friday 5-8pm), perhaps?—or follow the steps below to make your own at home:

First, create your own pomegranate-infused Cachaça by combining 2 or 3 pomegranates’ worth of pulp/seeds, 1 bottle Cahaça, and pomegranate syrup. Muddle 3 quartered fresh limes with 1 ounce simple syrup. Add ice and your pomegranate-infused Cachaça and shake. Pour into rocks glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Not a pomegranate fan? Here are four additional winter cocktails currently gracing the menu: the Rosalie (mezcal, lime juice, rose water, and Peychaud’s Bitters); the Maplenut Manhattan (bourbon, Carpano Antia, smoked maple syrup, and black walnut bitters); the Lemonbaum (Citron vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, rosemary syrup, and cranberry bitters); and the T Collins (gin, honeyed peppermint tea, lemon and lime juice, and sparkling wine).

—Sherri Balefsky | Miami Editor